Local

May 31, 2012

Community service, charitable acts set Soldier apart

Story and photo by Sgt. Kelvin Ringold
11th Signal Brigade Public Affairs Office

Sgt. Johnathan Whitworth, Company A, 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, gives instructions to fellow Soldiers as they prepare to support the Fort Huachuca post-wide clean up during the first week of May.

There are a lot of negative things going on in the world today — so much so that people are often fixated with the negative aspects, and they forget all about the positive ones.

At times people get so involved with their own personal problems and issues that they don’t make time to help anyone else. However, sometimes all it takes is one person to make a difference.

Sometimes, that person is an Army Soldier.

Sgt. Johnathan Whitworth, a cable installer with Company A, 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion here, makes it a point to take time out of his busy schedule to help out not only Soldiers but also others who may need assistance.

“I volunteer about 10 to 15 hours a week, said Whitworth. “That is in addition to the time I invest with my Soldiers on a daily basis. I consider myself not only an NCO (noncommissioned officer), but a good resource to military and civilian personnel for finding out the positive things going on in the community.”

Since arriving at Fort Huachuca in June 2011, Whitworth has been a standout Soldier for the 40th ESB. He helped organize the Soldiers in his company and battalion to gather over 2,000 pounds of food for the Fort Huachuca food locker in March.

“Since I have been here, I have worked closely with Ms.[Jo] Moore from the post chapel,” said Whitworth. “After Christmas, the food locker was bare, so I contacted her and my first sergeant, and I set a goal of food we wanted to collect from the company.”

They reached the 1,500-pound mark, their original goal, in two days, so Company A increased the goal to 2,000 pounds, he said. Once the Soldiers understood this would help other people and possibly themselves, they were eager to help donate.

In addition to the Fort Huachuca food locker, Whitworth was involved with the Fort Huachuca Chapel Giving Tree and is a member of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Group.

“I speak to the group on the weekends and sit in on their meetings when they have them to see what they are doing,” said Whitworth. “I like volunteering my time with them.”

Even before he arrived at Fort Huachuca, Whitworth was giving his time to different causes at his previous duty station, Fort Hood, Texas.

“After seeing a need to help children in the area that were always getting in trouble because their parents were never around, or they were running the streets all the time, I started Neu Swagg Nation,” said Whitworth.

Neu Swagg Nation is a non-profit organization that Whitworth founded in 2010. It raises funds to help less fortunate families or anyone in need.

It helps give youth something to do and to look forward to. It also helps keep them off the streets and helps them to do better in school knowing that someone cares, he said.

Whitworth may have started Neu Swagg nation in 2010, but he had been active in the Fort Hood community since 2008.

“We adopted our main street at Fort Hood, and would conduct clean-ups with the youths in the community,” he said.

Although he has not received a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal yet, Whitworth does not volunteer or organize charitable events for the recognition.

“If I am able to help someone, then it is my pleasure to help them,” he said. “The Army has gotten away from comradeship, and I’m doing my part to bring it back.”

Whitworth is a positive role model for Soldiers. He helps those in need, and asks for nothing in return. He is not only considered a good Soldier, but also a good person who affects the people he meets in a positive way, according to his company commander.

“I’m glad I have him in my company,” said Capt. Saphira Ocasio, Company A commander, 40th ESB. “Whitworth is one of those highly motivated noncommissioned officers. His effort and high motivation in caring not only for Soldiers but also for other people is truly a selfless service.”




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